Bong Go calls for stricter oversight in sports training following Taekwondo incident

Bong Go calls for stricter oversight in sports training following Taekwondo incident

SENATOR Christopher “Bong” Go expressed his deep concern over a disturbing incident involving a 17-year-old female taekwondo athlete who was severely injured during a sparring session.

The incident, which occurred at the Jesus Is Lord Colleges Foundation, Inc. in Bocaue, Bulacan last February 27, has sparked a national conversation on the safety and protection of young athletes in sports.

The young athlete, a novice in the martial art of taekwondo, was placed in a highly mismatched sparring session against a male black belt, significantly heavier and more skilled than her. A video of the incident showed the female athlete enduring a barrage of punches and kicks, resulting in severe injuries, including bruises and a swollen face despite the presence of a trainer.

Expressing his dismay, Go stated, “Having seen the video, I find it very distressing watching how a 17-year-old neophyte was mercilessly beaten by a male black belter almost twice her weight during their practice session.”

“Sparring sessions are designed to hone the skills of our budding athletes. They are not intended to injure or potentially kill them,” he added.

The senator underscored the responsibility of trainers and coaches present during contact sports sessions to prevent such incidents.

“Dapat may naka monitor na coach lalo na sa contact sports. Ang coach din ang dapat umalalay sa mga atleta kapag nagtetraining sila. Hindi lang ito usapin ng mismatch. Usapin din ito ng posibleng violation ng karapatan ng isang menor de edad,” said Go.

He then commended the police for filing charges under the Republic Act No. 7610 or the Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation, and Discrimination Act. He called on the involved school to actively support the victim in seeking justice.

“Inaasahan din natin ang paaralan na tutukan ang isyung ito at ibigay ang lahat ng maaaring itulong upang makamit ng biktima ang hustisya,” said Go.

As the chair of the Senate Committee on Sports, Go expressed his intent to initiate an investigation in aid of legislation to review and possibly amend laws to impose stricter penalties and provide sufficient safety mechanisms for such incidents to protect aspiring athletes.

“Kung kinakailangan ay magpatawag tayo ng imbestigasyon upang tingnan kung merong kailangang amyendahan sa ating mga batas at gawing mas mabigat ang mga parusa sa mga ganitong pangyayari,” stated the senator.

He stressed the significant role of sports in nation-building and character development among the youth, teaching values such as discipline, camaraderie and sportsmanship.

“Finally, napakahalaga ng sports sa nation building at sa paghubog ng mga kabataan sa tamang asal at disiplina.  Itinuturo nito ang camaraderie at sportsmanship,” he said.

“Huwag nating hayaan ang ganitong mga insidente na makasira sa ating mga ginagawa upang maka-engganyo ng mga kabataan to get into sports and stay away from drugs, to get fit and healthy,” Go concluded.

On March 27, the Philippine Taekwondo Association said in a statement that it already initiated an investigation on the incident.


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